Guide to the AKC Collections

The AKC Archives is arranged into three major groups: (I) Clubs, including AKC Member Clubs and Parent Clubs; (II) People (III) AKC Administrative records.

(Far Left) A letter from the Bull Dog Club of America, dated 28 November 1890, asks for permission to join the AKC. The club joined during the same year.

(Top Right) The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Breed Standard, published by the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Club of America, Inc., 1992.

(Bottom Right) The prize list for the San Angelo Kennel Club of San Angelo, Texas in 1919. The artwork, completed by Charles A. Cox, illustrates the popular artistic style of the time.

I. Clubs
This group contains the bulk of the AKC Archives' holdings. Clubs contain AKC Member Club and Parent Club records. The collections consist of primary material including meeting minutes, constitutions, by-laws, officer lists, original research on breeds, correspondences, brochures, pamphlets and premium lists. The club collections are broken into their respective breed groups: (I) Sporting; (II) Hound; (III) Working; (IV) Terrier; (V) Toy; (VI) Non-Sporting; and (VII) Miscellaneous Class.

The breed standard for the Great Dane as revised by the Great Dane Club of American, states, "The Great Dane combines in its distinguished appearance, dignity, strength and elegance with great size and powerful, well-informed, smoothly muscled body...he must be so well-balanced that he never appears clumsy and is always a unit - the Apollo of dogs." c. 1945.

II. People
Individuals who have played a major role in the sport of the purebred dog are included. People may include judges, breeders, handlers, and owners. The bulk of the collections consist of correspondences, photographs, pedigrees and personal items (e.g. notebooks). These collections are listed alphabetically by last name.

(Left) A ribbon from the 1940 Morris and Essex Kennel Club dog show.

(Middle) Ticket from the Westminster Kennel Club dog show from 1942.

(Right) The 1927 prize list for the Intermountain Kennel Club Dog Show in Utah with a photograph of John M. Burton of Chicago is a "Internationally Liked Dog Judge."

III. AKC Administrative
The bulk of this collection consists of various departmental records from 1884 to the present. Records include the following items:

  • Board of Director Meeting Minutes (1884-present)
  • Constitution and By-Laws (1884-present)
  • Rules Applying to Registration and Dog Shows (1933-present)
  • Dog Show and Field Trial Rules and Regulations (1884-present)
  • Department Collections - This consists of select AKC departments such as Club Relations, Gazette, and Executive Officer files.
    • Club Relation Files
      A finding aid is available at the Finding Aid web page. The finding aid will be revised and is scheduled to be completed by December 2006.
(Left) Cover of the Penalty Book from 1901 - 1922. The AKC kept records of all penalties placed on organizations and individuals by the Trial Board and event committees. No other penalty books exist except this one.

(Right) The Penalty Book reads, an individual at the North New Jersey Kennel Club dog show on 11 May 1908 was suspended by the Trial Board for insulting a judge. His suspension was expected to last for an indefinite term, however, the individual died before he could get reinstated.

Information Files
The information files consist of secondary resources on purebred dogs and various topics. The bulk of the files consist of the AKC Gazette from 1880 to 1890 and circa 1980 to 2000. These are not exhaustive resources but are supplementary to the existing archival collections. The AKC Library has comprehensive files on various topics and breeds. Please contact the AKC Library for more information.

(Far Left) AKC Gazette staff selling The Gazette subscription for $0.25 at the Westminster Dog Show in February 1942, Photo by Wm. Brown.

The AKC Gazette in July 1942. The cover features dogs of the Dogs for Defense, Inc. to support the war effort.